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Corporate - August 8, 2022

BAPEX removes its controversial DGM

Impact of Daily Industry report

Golam Mostafa Jibon: At last, the authorities concerned of BAPEX removed its Deputy General Manager (DGM) and 3D Seismic Project Director Meheul Hasan to elsewhere from his post due to massive corruption allegation against him. The step was taken on August 3 after publishing a newsreport on the back page of The Daily Industry, an esteemed Englishdaily newspaper, on July 31 with the titled “3D, 2D seismic project of BAPEX;Where corruption spreads like cancer”.
It was learnt yesterday from an office order signed by Ranjit Kumar Sarkar, General Manager (Administration) of Recruitment, Promotion and Transfer Branch of Petrobangla that,Mehrul Hasan, Deputy General Manager (Technical Cadre) working in Geophysical Department of BAPEX has been transferredto Reservoir and Data Management Department of Petrobanglaas Deputy General Manager (DGM)withdeputation on until further orders.
It is to be revealed that, Meherul Hasan joined Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (BAPEX), a national organization for gas exploration and extraction, on October 7 in 2002. He last served as General Manager (GM-Additional Charge) in Geophysical Department of the BAPEX. During his 20-year tenure at BAPEX, he worked as the head of various important projects in addition to the 3D Seismic Data Acquisition sub-division. It is alleged that,Mehrul Hasan has misappropriated crores of Taka through unbridled corruption in the different projects by creating a strong syndicate. The bond of the syndicate was so much strong that BAPEX could not take any legal action against him and his associates even after getting severalproofs of corruptions and irregularities.
At one stage on July 31, The Daily Industry published a report titled “3D, 2D seismic project of BAPEX; Where corruption spreads like cancer”, which drew the attention to the high-ups of the BAPEX and finally the authorities concerned has taken a step against the alleged corrupt official. But, there has intensified question that though, the official action has been taken against the corrupt officerMeherul; no action has been taken so far against the construction firms grabbed several work orders through manipulation. The elite people also demanded divisional action against those all, who are involved with the money plundering through anomalies.
The Daily Industry report mentioned that, “Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (BAPEX) has now turned into a den of corruption and irregularities due to continuous abusing of power by some unscrupulous and influential officials. As a result, crores of Taka is downing the drain on the tip of nose of the authorities concerned, but to no headache of anyone.”
The report further revealed that, even after existing of several evidences and proofs of corruption and irregularities, Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (BAPEX) did not take any visible action against those, who are directly and indirectly involved with misappropriating crores of Taka. Tk 610 crore has been plundered by some unscrupulous officials in the name of gas exploration under BAPEX’s 3D and 2D seismic project. Along with this, crores of taka has been misappropriated by some obscure companies using fake documents.
In addition to the office of the Managing Director (MD) of BAPEX, meanwhile several written complaints have been submitted to the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources Corporation (Petrobangla), and even the office of the Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in this regard.
The information of looting crores of Taka through massive corruption and irregularities has come out in the report of the investigation team formed by Petrobangla.
The committee also recommended stern action against the accused Meherul Hasan, Deputy General Manager (DGM) and 3D Seismic Project Director of BAPEX. After getting the reality of misappropriating hundreds of crores of Taka in the name of the project, it has been submitted to the investigation report to the office along with the evidence; But this network of corruption is so strong that no action was taken against the involved.
The most allegations are against DGM Mehrul Hasan. His syndicate has grabbed Tk 248 crore by giving work without tender, hiring workers and purchasing machineries. He awarded a good number of works to Arnib Enterprises, owned by Mahbub Uddin Ahmad Bir Bikram, also President of Bangladesh Inland Waterways (passenger carriers) Association, without tender in exchange of bribery. In the investigation about the irregularities in these works, Arnib Enterprises in collaboration with DGM Meherul Hasan has surveyed nine places at a cost of Tk 247.70 crore. Some of these places are big, some are very small. Regardless of location, the same equipment and workers are shown for each. As a result, the rate of expenditure has also been equalized, so that the impression of irregularity is clear. BAPEX also formed a committee to investigate the allegations.
After publishing the report, discussion was started among the honest and sincere officials of the organization along with the elite people. Besides, the controversial officials were brought under scanner by the ACC.
On the other hand, the honest and sincere officials of the BAPEX urged the high-ups to take legal action against other officials, who were involved with Meherul to plunder the government money. Besides, they demanded fair investigation against Arnib Enterprises, owned by Mahbub Uddin Ahmad Bir Bikram, also President of Bangladesh Inland Waterways (passenger carriers) Association, which have been grabbed work orders without tender in exchange of bribe. There is allegation that, Mahbub Uddin Ahmad Bir Bikram amassed huge amount of money through massive corruption and anomalies with the blessing of the then DGM Meherul Hasan.
Concerned people urged the ACC to beef up its surveillance in which other corrupt people cannot go out using any loophole.

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